TiZA to ACLU: I see your lawsuit and I raise you one
Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA) is located in Inver Grove Heights was sued by the ACLU for promoting the Muslim religion and violating the First Amendment. We wrote about this ongoing battle here.
Now TiZA is fighting back, countersuing the ACLU for defamation, says the Star Tribune.
TiZA says the ACLU, which sued the academy in January, defamed the school and hurt its ability to hire qualified teachers, according to counterclaims filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.The school says the ACLU lawsuit has caused threats against school staff and has hurt the learning environment. Several students decided to withdraw from the school. At least 10 teachers dropped out of the hiring process.
The K-8 school has denied the allegations and said in court documents that Charles Samuelson, executive director of the Minnesota ACLU, injured the school's reputation by saying publicly that TiZA is "a theocratic school ... as plain as the substantial nose on my face." "We're surprised by these counterclaims,"
ACLU legal counsel Teresa Nelson said Tuesday. Nelson declined to comment further, saying the ACLU needed a chance to analyze the court documents.
The school is asking for more than $100,000 in damaged for each counterclaim.